Development of combustion technologies is central in reducing the emissions of energy production, particularly in the transition towards new biomass-based fuels. To this end, we utilise both empirical and computational thermodynamics.
Our expertise in research and higher education is based on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and chemistry in energy technology. Our technology applications of the research focus mainly on combustion and spray technology, thermal materials and bioenergy conversion.
We carry out modelling and experimental research for developing more efficient biomass and biofuel conversion processes. We study optimal fuel production pathways and efficient ways to transform their chemical energy to power and heat. We work on black liquor combustion and spraying in recovery boilers, CFB combustion and gasification of waste and simulation and optimisation of modern bio-based power plants.
We work on transport biofuels conversion processes in engines i.e. new combustion systems like dual-fuel combustion, gas diesel combustion and other new combustion regimes. We also study new advanced conversion processes such as super-critical water gasification and hydrothermal treatment of very wet biomasses without needing to dry them first, increasing energy efficiency.
Our key technologies in experiments are optical diagnostics of combustion and flow in furnaces and engines and related technologies, e.g. sprays. We have laser equipment for PIV, LIF and PDA and equipment for filtering, analysing and digitally processing the optical signal. We have optical spray bombs and a fully optical high speed engine for especially engine combustion research. We have special equipment and expertise for recovery boiler experimental research.
The computational team, headed by Professor Ville Vuorinen, focuses primarily on high-performance CFD of turbulent flows, including large eddy simulation (LES) and combined LES-RANS approaches using various software such as open-source code OpenFOAM as well as commercial codes STAR-CCM+ and STAR-CD. The research has three primary directions: 1) chemically reacting flow (combustion), 2) heat transfer and fluid flows and 3) applications in manufacturing processes, including material science and machines with moving/rotating parts. The research of the team has broad industrial relevance for e.g. power plants, engines, boilers, combustion, electronics and chemical engineering.
We develop and study experimentally new composite phase change materials. The major goal is to invent an efficient and affordable material for seasonal thermal storage application.
We also exploit scale dependent thermal effects in order to develop improved thermal insulation materials and novel heat transfer fluids. The research consists of simulation and modelling of thermal radiation and conduction in micro- and nanostructured materials, preparation and measurements of nanofluids (fluids with suspended nanoscale particles in a base fluid) for enhanced convective heat transfer.